Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Med. 2017 Sep;11(3):423-431. doi: 10.1007/s11684-017-0524-9. Epub 2017 May 13.

Quality and readability of online information resources on insomnia.

Author information

1
Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. dr.yan.ma@gmail.com.
2
Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
3
Sleep Medicine Center, Airforce General Hospital, Beijing, 100142, China.
4
IBM, Software Development Lab, Littleton, MA, 01460, USA.
5
Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Abstract

The internet is a major source for health information. An increasing number of people, including patients with insomnia, search for remedies online; however, little is known about the quality of such information. This study aimed to evaluate the quality and readability of insomnia-related online information. Google was used as the search engine, and the top websites on insomnia that met the inclusion criteria were evaluated for quality and readability. The analyzed websites belonged to nonprofit, commercial, or academic organizations and institutions such as hospitals and universities. Insomnia-related websites typically included definitions (85%), causes and risk factors (100%), symptoms (95%), and treatment options (90%). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) was the most commonly recommended approach for insomnia treatment, and sleep drugs are frequently mentioned. The overall quality of the websites on insomnia is moderate, but all the content exceeded the recommended reading ease levels. Concerns that must be addressed to increase the quality and trustworthiness of online health information include sharing metadata, such as authorship, time of creation and last update, and conflicts of interest; providing evidence for reliability; and increasing the readability for a layman audience.

KEYWORDS:

cognitive behavioral therapy; health literacy; information quality; insomnia; internet; readability; treatment

PMID:
28500432
DOI:
10.1007/s11684-017-0524-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center